Bias Watch

If Christians turn violent it’s drag queens’ fault. That’s the new far-right talking point.

Kari Lake
Kari Lake Photo: Shutterstock

Failed anti-LGBTQ+ Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) agreed with far-right conspiracy theorist Stew Peters as he bashed trans people and drag queens.

“I don’t know how much longer the people can take it,” Lake said after Peters decried “this transgender freak show craze that’s happening in front of kids.”

“I mean, tra**y freak shows in front of kids they’re inviting to these things,” Peters continued. He also criticized “racist, poisonous CRT [critical race theory] in our schools” and said “people are concerned about the future and the safety of their children.”

During her campaign, Lake attacked drag queens, writing on social media: “They kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens. They took down our Flag and replaced it with a rainbow. They seek to disarm Americans and militarize our Enemies. Let’s bring back the basics: God, Guns & Glory.”

Richard Stevens – who performs locally in drag as Barbra Seville – took issue with that, calling Lake a “complete hypocrite.” She said Lake was a regular in the Phoenix drag scene and even hired Seville to perform at a baby shower.

During the campaign, Lake also aired an ad starring fundamentalist Desert Bible Church pastor Justin Erickson, a man who said that the LGBTQ+ community is filled with STD-ridden child molesters.

Taking a page out of Trump’s handbook, Lake has been on a rampage since she lost her 2022 election to Arizona’s then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs by over 17,000 votes. The Arizona Supreme Court threw out Lake’s legal challenge of the election’s results. Nonetheless, she continues holding “Save Arizona” rallies at which she claims she won.

At a recent rally, Lake’s representatives reportedly allowed Ethan Schmidt — a right-wing extremist who said he’d be “hunting” LGBTQ+ allies around Phoenix, Arizona during Pride month 2022 — to enter the rally. Schmidt was later removed by the venue’s management.

Lake may also have violated campaign law due to a social media post baselessly claiming that election fraud “stole” the 2022 governor’s race from her.

Last week, Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) asked state Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) to investigate whether Lake broke state laws.

Specifically, Fontes said that Lake violated a state law forbidding voters’ signatures from being “accessible or reproduced by any person other than the voter,” NBC News reported.

In Lake’s conversation with Peters, she expressed that Arizona is living with a “fake government” with “squatters sitting in the state house.”

“They thought I would walk away and lick my wounds… but they’re wrong. I will never ever back down from this fight.”

Peters also claimed members of the religious right are doing all they can to avoid “violence and bloodshed” but that it’s becoming impossible.

“I just don’t know how long a dog can be poked before it comes out of the corner and just starts biting,” he said. Lake agreed.

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